When I go through a particularly hard season, I try to learn from the experience. This allows the Holy Spirit to build my character and hope. In this episode, I have compiled a few things that would have been beneficial to know or learn before we adopted.If you are in the hard right now, I encourage you to let me know if there is something to add that I missed or if what I said maybe hit home for you. If you are just starting on your adoption journey, let me know if there was something you hadn’t thought of or if there should be more discussion of a topic.

Here is part of the list I found on the .gov website –

» Child development
» Behavior management
» The process of grief and loss
» The dynamics of attachment and separation
» The value of families
» Individualized service plans
» Identifying the strengths and needs of families and children
» Behavior as an expression of underlying needs
» The value of partnerships
» How children enter the foster care system

If you are struggling to find help, send me an email & let me know where you are. I am not an expert but I do love a research challenge and would be happy to help you as much as possible. Sometimes it’s just finding the right person in a sea of wrong ones.

Just don’t give up hope. I am praying for you all the time. God sees you.

Hope you enjoy!


Join The Maker’s Space Community – A safe space for parents going through a hard journey of adoption

Since the adoption journey is a very personal thing, the community is a paid subscription. This helps eliminate trolls and encourages a safe sharing environment.

Follow Us


Ep. 19 - Full Transcription

Kam (00:01.346)
Hey you guys, welcome to the Makerspace Podcast. Thank you for listening to episode 19. Oh, happy Thursday. It’s been a morning already. And kind of along that note, I had already kind of written what I wanted to talk about. And I think it’s appropriate for what my morning has been.

So thank you for tuning into the podcast where we are trying to create a community for moms in the middle of a hard adoption and trying to give them a space and a community around them that believe in them and just quite frankly believe them for what they’re going through. Now, I do realize that

Not everybody listening to this podcast is going to be in the middle of the hard. And that’s fine. That’s maybe you were in the process of your adoption. You’re kind of in the middle. You’re waiting for those kids to come home. Maybe you are at the beginning. You’re still doing research on adoption. All of that is fine. And actually those are the people that I want to talk to right now. The rest of you can listen in and nod your head and

let me know if I’m off base, if you agree with these tactics, but what I’m kind of learning, and first I want to preface, I am not an expert in any of these areas. I am an expert in what I have gone through and experienced myself with our family with having three

adopted older children that we adopted. They’re a sibling group. They are full-blooded siblings and we adopted them from Europe. But I am not an expert in anything else. So what I have discovered though is there needs to be so much more education when it comes to adopting and the adoption world just doesn’t have it right now and I think there needs to be more discussion about it.

Kam (02:19.018)
If we understood better what everybody is going through, if we did our research and were held to these higher standards, I think there would be a lot less disruption and a lot less failed adoptions. And let me give you an example of what I’m kind of talking about. In the US, each state has their own specific guidelines for being a foster parent.

Okay. And some states are more lenient than others. Some states have more requirements to have the foster parent licensing. And so if you pull up, it is childwelfare.gov, you’ll see what I’m referring to. There are some states that require up to 38 hours of training.

Quite honestly, I think that’s a sufficient amount for an adopting family, parent. I think that should be a requirement. That should be tied to the adoption process. And I know those of you who are in it are probably like, oh my gosh, I couldn’t handle that. There’s no way I could go through all of that and train for that, or that I wanna wait that long. But the thing is,

The weight is not the hardest part of the adoption. When you bring home an older child or, you know, one that has an attachment disorder, you’re going to want to know how to treat that person, how to get them the help they need, how to look for the help that they need. But I’m kind of getting off track a little bit. Um, we had 10 hours of

video time attached to our international adoption. That wasn’t even a national requirement. That was actually an international Hague Convention which Bulgaria is the country that we adopted from and they are members of the Hague Convention and the 10 Hours is part of their requirement. It’s not a U.S. thing but it is an international thing if the country is…

Kam (04:45.422)
connected to that Hague Convention. I honestly can’t even tell you what’s on those videos and we did not spend 10 hours watching them. So they were completely inadequate for what we needed and I never referenced them again. We buzzed through them and like I said, I don’t even remember what was on them. So when I’m on the website, I pulled when I when I got on I pulled the home study requirements.

for prospective foster parents. And I pulled it, like I said, off the childwelfare.gov. And it says it’s current up to 2018, but I still think these requirements are accurate. This is the list for Alabama, way to go Alabama. Kudos to you, I think this is awesome. And I hope these are still enforced. Complete 30 hours of training.

It will consist of the following components, child development, behavior management. I want to know how that looks. The process of grief and loss. And kind of on that note, I actually have a friend who I’m going to be having on a future podcast in near future. She is in the process of grieving her biological son who was killed.

but there’s so much grief and loss in adoption that I want to have her on to discuss how different it looks for everybody. So I’m really anticipating getting her on. So the next one is the dynamics of attachment and separation. I’ll be talking about more of that in a bit. The value of families, individualized service plans.

This is huge if your kids are in the system at all. Identifying the strengths and needs of families and children. Behavior as an expression of underlying needs. The value of partnership. So important to develop those partnerships now with teachers, therapists, doctors, all of these people, building that partnership with people that you trust.

Kam (07:10.454)
that you know, and people that believe you, to be quite frank. How children enter the foster care system. And I do feel that this is something that an adoption person should know because not all adoptions work. They don’t all succeed.

Kam (07:40.546)
had to enter the foster system because we had to claim a China on her for safety issues, we now know how they enter the foster care system and we now know how DHS works. And that’s also another talk for another time. Family implications among foster parents. How is it going to affect your family?

Kam (00:11.342)
And then the next one is understanding and valuing cultural differences, which that may sound obvious, but you kind of need to understand one, the countries that you are adopting from if they’re outside of the, obviously countries would be outside of the states, but if you’re adopting a child from outside. But you can have cultural issues.

even inside the states, you know, if they come from a culturally diverse background, that kind of thing. And this is something that you need to be sensitive to either way. Our kids that came from Bulgaria, they really didn’t want to have much to do with their home country for a long time. After a while, our daughter did actually kind of

show a little bit of interest, not a whole lot. And the same is true with our oldest adopted. They still weren’t really like we gave the oldest a flag for Christmas and he basically just shoved it in a closet and ignored it. He really didn’t you know put it up on the wall or anything like that. But then I also have friends who have adopted from China and one of their kids

she it’s in her heart to go back to China to return to China and do some mission work and that kind of thing. So she’s all about her country. So it can go either way and you just have to be sensitive to that and accept either way. You know if you’re adopting from China and you’re trying to share foods and they are just not having it you need to be accepting of that. And then also for

They have complete 15 hours of in-service training annually. So even after they’re approved, they have to do this once a year. The training may include, but it’s not limited to CPR child safety issues, which I don’t have. I don’t have CPR. I need to, but I don’t. Crisis intervention, engaging families. That would have been a good one to know. Effects of multiple placements.

Kam (02:30.686)
If you’re going to adopt a similar group, are you going to adopt different children? Are you going to foster and adopt? This is all stuff you need to know how that affects if you have biologicals, how it’s going to affect all of the kids, how it’s going to affect you. And if you’re married at your spouse, your marriage, you know, um, with reactive attachment disorders, triangulation is a huge thing. You need to be a united front. If you are married.

You guys need to be in agreement that this child that’s coming is going to have trauma regardless of when you get this child, regardless of what they’ve been through. And the honesty is the real facts are that they may try to triangulate the two of you against each other. And I have actually seen where one spouse like

thinks the other spouse is hurting the other child because that’s what the child is talking them into Forgetting the fact that this is the person that you married that you know better than anybody and This child has trauma issues. So That is something that you definitely have to be aware of Then it’s the cultural sensitivity significance of birth families

You know, if your children know their biological family at all, are they going to have connection with them? Are they going to want connection? Are they going to want to talk about them? Are they not? Are they going to be in their life at all? Are they going to eventually want to? Substance abuse. This is a huge issue, especially with reactive attachment, because a lot of them don’t have

So to try to kind of…

Kam (04:32.642)
dead in the pain, I guess, so to speak. There is a lot of substance abuse issues. Gang activity also, that’s the next on the list. Universal precautions and infection control and obtain and maintain CPR, infant, first aid, all that kind of stuff. So that is looking at Alabama. That is not where I live.

I don’t know that Iowa has such a strict requirements on their foster parents. I hope they do. I hope they come close, but I honestly couldn’t tell you. The people that I have worked with that have been trained, that have helped me with the kids, and it’s not just me, it’s my husband and myself, but I was the one at the…

you know, in the middle trying to deal with all the teachers and therapists and everything. And it was the teachers who I felt were the most helpful, the most patient, the most understanding and believed me. That was the key thing. They actually believed me. Most of them, not all of them. And I realized that that’s, you know, that can also be the opposite is true. But I…

do believe in my heart that these guys have a different gift than say a doctor or therapist does. They tend to, you know, they’re with the kids all the time. So they see the behaviors in these kids. They know how to help them, how to react to them, what’s appropriate with them, what is not. You know, it takes somebody with some training and some time to know you cannot

Restrain a child by physical touch all the time. You will just trigger them even more. And you have to be able to know which child is which and how to do that. And they have a tendency to have these techniques that they have been through courses. They’ve been through training. So I would highly suggest talking to a special ed teacher. Whether you’re going to

Kam (06:57.074)
or your kids are of school age or not, talk to a special education teacher because they will have wisdom, I guarantee it. And again, not all of them may have the same opinions, but they can at least give you some tips on some of the stuff that’s on that list. And…

Kam (07:24.702)
When I was trying to find help out of all of the people that I asked, whether it was police officers, which we had a number of them in the neighborhood, so they were at my disposal, I asked doctors, I asked therapists, I asked counselors, I asked adoption workers, like

people who are in the agencies, you know, getting the families going, the social workers doing the home studies, and nobody would help me until she or he actually did something to hurt somebody. And by that time, it’s too late. And so to get them the help that we needed, like I said, the teachers were the best. So I do recommend talking to one of them.

if you’re in the wait and if you’re thinking about adopting. Now I would also say if you find or know of a seasoned parent who has adopted, who has seen the hard, go ahead and ask them. But if, don’t do it if they’re in the hard. They’re going to scare you out of it, I guarantee you. And

That’s not where they are. They need somebody to listen to them, to just be there for them, to be an ear for them, and to believe them. Of anything else, we just need to believe the parents who are going through stuff right now. And when I stress so much about believing us, believe us when we tell you that we have locks on the doors.

that we have our scissors and all of our knives in locked boxes, that we have cameras inside the house, that we have cameras in hallways and bedrooms, that we have locks on the inside of the bedroom door, and that is for a purpose. That is because some of us go through daily knife threats, death threats.

Kam (09:45.802)
um being killed in our sleep um lots of lots of threats and some of these kids as they get bigger and as they get more muscle to them and more size more weight they are less able to be handled be

Kam (10:16.026)
And so that’s kind of a tip of the iceberg when I tell you those are the things that we need you to believe.

Kam (10:31.322)
Now, that being said about the adopting parents, if you talk to one of them and they don’t want to talk at all, or it kind of seems like they’re a little, you know, put off by the conversation, be okay with that. Don’t take offense to that. Usually that is a parent going through a hard and or they’ve been in a hard and they’re

now trying to heal. They’re trying to breathe. They’re trying to find the new normal, which is a huge phrase in the adoption world. And when we adopt, that’s a new normal. When an adoption dissolves or fails, that’s a new normal. These are all new normals that we go through in the adoption parenting world. Some of this stuff we have to grieve.

in our own and that’s a total different podcast and I will be talking about that like I said at the beginning but don’t get offended if they don’t want to talk and I totally know where you are. I was that parent too. I was like why doesn’t she want to talk to me and ask me questions and find out where I am and you know where the adoption is and

know how the kids are and about the kids and all this kind of stuff. And I would get upset because you’re going to be a new mom and you want to talk about it just like being pregnant. But some of those parents they cannot they just can’t go there and it’s too traumatic for them. I didn’t know trauma until I adopted so you have to be respectful of that and them healing.

And you also have to realize that the kids that they are trying to raise, that they may be in the middle of, you know, the hard, that there might be reasons that they do some of the things that they do. If you are closer to them and you tend to see them, you know, how they function out in the real world and you think, wow, they’re kind of strict, I wouldn’t do that to my kid.

Kam (12:51.126)
Maybe I should ask to step in, give them a break. Maybe I could take over for a while and help raise this child. I have had all those thoughts before we adopted. So I have been there too. But there is a reason and a purpose behind some of their actions, some of their discipline tactics, and they will not agree with what regular society says we should be raising regular children.

These are not regular children. These are trauma and damaged brains that we are now dealing with. And we have to deal with them almost backwards. That’s the best way I can describe it. They do not respond to affection. They do not respond to the calm, collected, disciplinary, give them a little freedom. No, especially ones coming from institutions.

That is definitely not how we parent them.

Um, and I guarantee that you would not be able to raise this child better. Um, they are still going to have the same issues. Some kids with rad, they do have a successful ending, but that is because they have made a choice as they have become adults to change things. But while

You’re in the teenage years especially, they can be extremely dangerous. And having the thought that you can help raise this child is also extremely dangerous to that family. We have experienced this ourselves and we had a family try to step in behind our back and try to take guardianship of her. She would have destroyed their family.

Kam (14:54.31)
We knew that and there was also a family as we were having issues with our daughter that allowed her to come and move in with them because they felt that we were handling things poorly. They later kicked her out. The family that did end up taking her and that she stayed with the longest that couple has separated as a result of her being in the home and

To my knowledge, she is now at another home. And I don’t know anymore if she is being successful or not, or if anything, but until someone has walked it out, you do not know and you do not know the dangers of having that child. And by the time you figure it out, the damage is already done.

So a lot of times the parents of that child are not telling you the whole thing and they just kind of take the judgment. So.

Kam (16:18.414)
Finally, I feel like the best thing that we can do as adopting parents is learn about reactive attachment disorder, RAD, or attachment disorders in general. There’s a lot of discussion or fear when it comes to fetal alcohol or drug use of mom in Europe.

You’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you’re- you

I can’t even think of what it’s called. But attachment orders is not being, disorders is not being discussed. And it needs to be similar to how the autistic realm came on the scene. We need to be talking about reactive attachment. We need to have this as part of our vocabulary, not something that we shy away from. It’s something that I’m finding more and more is a part of.

adoption and not something that is being addressed as a mental issue. And also not something that’s being addressed as how do you work with a child? How do you train a child? How do you train the families? So we need to be discussing this. We need to be praying about this. We need to speak to others who have fought this reactive attachment disorder.

because you can see a wheelchair and you can see a limp, but you cannot see rad. And usually it presents itself very sweetly and obediently and helpful, but, and it can lie dormant for a couple of years, a lot of years actually. And then all of a sudden it just rears its ugly head one day and it can also

Kam (18:20.674)
present itself every single day. And we have to be aware of it. We have to be knowledgeable of it to be able to know how to give these kids what they need, what’s going to help them, but also keep families safe. And I just want to tell you, thank you for listening to the Maker Space. I hope that this not has not scared you, but encouraged you to just do

more research, more study, and if you’re in the wait, this is something you can be doing while you’re there. If you are considering adoption, you need to weigh all of this before you make that decision. And I am the last one to take anything away from a calling that you have from God and what it proclaims to us in James to take care of the fatherless.

but this is something that must not happen without heavy doses of prayer and fasting. And I do encourage you to talk to these people. And if you want to reach out to me, I encourage that I’ll include my email in the show notes and I will not be keeping negative comments or.

demeaning comments or emails those will be deleted immediately and I will block you if necessary. This is to provide a safe space for other moms and or parents or whoever needs to hear it that is going through the hard right now and so I do encourage you and I hope you know that I am praying for you all the time and I hope you have an amazing rest of your week.